Messenger’s end-to-end encryption chat feature is now available to Canadian users

End-to-end encryption is now available to all of Facebook Messenger’s more than 1-billion users, reports Wired.  

In having added end-to-end encryption to its popular chat app, Facebook follows the lead of subsidiary WhatsApp, which enabled the security and privacy feature back in April.

That said, there’s one major difference between how the two companies have implemented the feature.

For Messenger users, end-to-end encryption is something they have to opt into.

That’s because end-to-end encryption on Facebook takes the form of a feature called ‘Secret Conversations.’ Users have to manually enter into an encrypted conversation with each and every friend on their contact list — they do so by tapping on their friend’s name in the chat window.

While in an encrypted conversation, users also have the option to set messages to disappear after a period of time anywhere between five seconds to a day. Some functionality, like the ability to send GIFs and videos, is disabled while in a secret conversation.

One’s chat secret conversation chat history is also only available on the device that took part in the initial conversation.

It’s likely Facebook made end-to-end encryption an opt-in feature to avoid the type of scrutiny WhatsApp finds itself under from governments.


The social media giant began testing the feature back in July. It makes use of the Signal encryption system, which was developed by Open Whisper Systems.

[source]Wired[/source][via]The Verge[/via]